PARIS, April 21 (KUNA) -- Elite Special Forces teams and intelligence officers carried out a series of raids in the Paris region after the shoot-out Thursday night on the world-famous Champs Elysees avenue where one police officer died and the gunman was fatally shot.
Two other police officers and a pedestrian were wounded in the shoot-out that took place at 20.50h local time at the upper end of the central avenue.
Raids were carried out in the Seine and Marne district near the town of Meaux, police sources indicated, noting this was the residence of the dead gunman, who was not formally identified by the Paris Prosecutor who was known to police for a number of crimes.
French media suggested the attacker was a 39-year-old Frenchman, who had a criminal record for attempted murder on a police cadet, and who had openly expressed the intention of killing police officers.
He came to the attention of police last February, the media said, after trying to purchase a weapon, again saying he wanted to kill police officers, but he was released after questioning.
Last night, he exited a car on the Champs Elysees and brandishing an AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifle fired upon a police vehicle before being killed.
Police Prosecutor Francois Molins said overnight that the man was "a terrorist" and that his identity "was known and had been verified" but it would not yet be released so as not to compromise the ongoing investigation and police operations.
The So-called Islamic State (IS) terrorist group claimed the attack only two hours after it took place, but this claim is still being examined.
Police sources said on Friday that one of the officers hit on Thursday had been in very serious condition but had improved overnight, while the other officer was more slightly wounded.
The foreign tourist hit area by collateral splinters in the fire-fight was not in danger, the sources said.
President Francois Hollande is holding a Defence and Security Council meeting Friday morning to evaluate the situation and ensure security is at an optimum in the run-up to the first round of French Presidential elections on Sunday.
Around 50,000 police, Gendarmes and military personnel have been deployed throughout France to provide security for the vote. (end)